Out of Town Travel

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Dec. 10 – 15, 2017

The early part of the week was a mix of work, relaxing and getting ready for upcoming trips out of town. The weather slowly warmed up through the week. The cool weather managed to help us finish off a propane tank over the weekend. Malcolm drove it over to a nearby Love’s truck stop and had it filled. There is a service that comes around our neighborhood to fill tanks, but we missed the cut-off on that (plus, Love’s is cheaper).

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Callie, taking the relaxing part seriously

One area we were having problems was finding a cat sitter (as mentioned at the end of our last blog entry). Fortunately, we had some folks step up to the plate after a second plea for help on our neighborhood’s Facebook page. We’ll have one lady covering the Nashville trip and another covering our Seattle trip.

Our last big thing to do before heading out for Nashville was to attend the Candlelight Processional at Disney’s Epcot. We bought a lunch package at the Biergarten Restaurant at Epcot which included preferred seating at the processional later in the afternoon.

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Entertainment at the Biergarten

Val hooked us both up with some fancy duds to wear for the day. We stopped on the way to Epcot to pick up a hat for Malcolm to go with his outfit.

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Fancy Duds

The service was exceptional. Choirs from local schools join together with a full orchestra and a guest narrator to put on a fantastic musical performance. The guest narrator for our evening there was Warwick Davis, who read the story of the birth of Jesus from the bible in between various Christmas song selections.

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Candlelight Processional

We left a little bit after the show to get home in preparation for our early morning departure for the airport. We had a 7:50 am flight and Orlando airport recommends arriving between 2 and 3 hours before your flight. We were through security pretty quick due to our new PreCheck numbers and were at our gate two hours before the flight.

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Sunrise at the Orlando Airport

We had an uneventful flight, with a short layover in Atlanta. Fortunately our first flight arrived, and our second flight departed from the same concourse. We just walked from one end to the other.

Location: Marriott Nashville Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee

Dates: Dec. 15 – 18, 2017

We arrived in Nashville around noon, rented our car and tossed our stuff inside. We drove downtown, parked in a garage and had lunch at Demos’ Steak & Spaghetti restaurant downtown. After lunch, we headed up to Malcolm’s office and said our hellos and handed out Christmas cards and gifts to various employees. From there, we went on to our hotel and checked in. We left the car in the garage and walked over to a nearby P.F. Chang’s restaurant for dinner.

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Cool wallpaper in our hotel room

On Saturday, we headed out early to the Opry Mills Mall to pick up a couple things, the Kroger’s to get a couple items we needed there. From there, we headed across town and had lunch and shopped around at McKay’s Used Books. We headed on back to the hotel to get ready for the company Christmas Party that evening.

The party was fun. Malcolm got to see a lot of co-workers he hadn’t seen in a while and met at least one that had started working since we were in the office last (this spring). Everyone won a gift at the party. We got a big basket of things to make martinis with, including a big ice pail. This presented a problem of where we might stow the items to fly back home.

On Sunday morning, we were too lazy to even head downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast, so we ordered room service. It was actually cheaper than having the breakfast buffet in the restaurant at the hotel (which we did Saturday morning).

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Room Service breakfast

After debating different methods of getting our new martini set home, we decided we would look at luggage at Target. We only checked on bag coming up and the airline allows us to check one bag per person, so another bag going home wouldn’t cost any extra. Plus, we could use another good suitcase. We ended up finding one on clearance that was also marked another 10% off. We stopped by McNamara’s Irish Pub to have lunch, then headed back to the hotel to begin the task of packing stuff in two suitcases.

Val had just read a news story about a massive power failure at the Atlanta airport on Sunday when Malcolm received the bad news message from Delta airlines – our flight out of Nashville on Monday was cancelled. They were working on a replacement flight for us. Malcolm checked online and found that the next available flight would leave on Tuesday and get in to Orlando very late Tuesday night.

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Oops. Bad news.

We looked at various options. Staying another day would be fairly costly at the hotel we were in in Nashville. Flying one-way on another airline would have been around $500 or so. We called Enterprise car rental, where we had rented the car we had there in Nashville and asked about keeping the car and driving it back to Orlando, but they wanted nearly $500 extra to do that. Malcolm finally found a deal on a one-way rental through Avis for around $150 and booked a car for Monday morning to drop off in Orlando on Tuesday afternoon.

Monday morning, we packed up our rental car and headed over to the Nashville airport to drop it off at Enterprise. We headed into the terminal to complete the registration on our Avis rental car, then back out to Avis to pick up our car and head on our way south. We drove as far as Valdosta, Georgia (about 2/3 of the way home) on Monday.

Location: Country Inn & Suites, Valdosta, Georgia

Dates: Dec. 18 – 19, 2017

We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites overnight on Monday after eating dinner at a nearby Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant. We were up early, had breakfast downstairs and hopped in the car by around 8:00 am to head on towards Orlando.

We arrived at the Orlando airport around noon and checked in our rental car. We rode the shuttle out to the parking lot and picked up our own car and headed towards home. Malcolm called Delta Airlines on the shuttle and arranged for a callback in a couple hours. We stopped by Panera Bread for lunch on the way.

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Dec. 19, 2017

Once home, Delta Airlines returned Malcolm’s call. Malcolm told them that we had rented a car instead of flying back home. The representative was nice and said he would process a refund to the credit card on which we had bought the tickets. Not sure how much of a refund that will be, but it was a nice gesture.

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Callie was glad we were home

We paid our cat sitter and Malcolm sat down to do some work while Val headed up to the laundry room to catch up laundry. We headed to fill up the car with gas later in the afternoon and picked up some groceries at Target before enjoying dinner at home and relaxing.

Tomorrow is pack-up day for our upcoming trip to Seattle on Thursday. That flight leaves in the afternoon, so no early departures this time. Plus, it is a direct flight from Orlando to Seattle, so no worries about Atlanta airport either way.

 

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